Welcome, Walt!

New editor brings a passion for CU values and principles.

December 01, 2013
KEYWORDS Change , cuna , leadership
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It seems this issue of Credit Union Magazine is all about change. Not only are changes taking place among league leaders, there also are changes taking place on Credit Union Magazine’s editorial staff .
With this issue, I’ll be stepping down as editor-in-chief and handing the editorial reins of Credit Union Magazine to Walt Laskos. 
Walt, who I’m sure is familiar to many of you, has spent the majority of his career in the credit union movement. He brings with him a wealth of communications experience and a thorough knowledge of the credit union movement. 
Walt is also a credit union development educator (DE) and, like most DEs, has a great deal of passion for the values and principles of financial cooperatives. Most recently, he served as public relations director for WesCorp Federal Credit Union. Rest assured, the magazine is in very capable hands with Walt and our entire editorial and design team. 
I’ll be staying with CUNA in a part-time capacity to assist with the editorial transition and to produce the next issue of CUNA’s Environmental Scan Report and its ancillary products, before retiring next summer. 
During this transition, it has become clear to me that everyone connected with the production of Credit Union Magazine has a laserlike focus on the quality of each issue. 
We have talented designers who make sure each issue is visually inviting to our readers. We have an editorial advisory board of credit union professionals who make sure our content remains relevant. And we have a remarkable team of editors who are, by any measure, the best in the business. 
Each issue of Credit Union Magazine is a tremendous collaborative effort. It has been an honor to work with such a talented group, and I’m convinced that the future is exceedingly bright for both credit unions and Credit Union Magazine

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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